Laboratory investigation of the geochemical behavior of metals in paddy soils contaminated with mine tailings

Joo Sung Ahn, Jung Hyun Kim, Jae Gon Kim, Yungoo Song, Hi Soo Moon

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The geochemical behavior of metals, including Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn, in contaminated paddy soils was investigated during the cultivation of rice crops through laboratory microcosm experiments. From the two paddy fields contaminated by mine tailings, Siheung and Deokeum in Korea, paddy soils were collected and analyzed for their geochemical characteristics. The Siheung paddy soil showed higher levels of heavy metals, whereas the higher potential for the release of metals was anticipated due to the extremely acidic conditions at Deokeum. In microcosm experiments of flooded paddy soils over 18 weeks, Fe and Mn were released in subsurface pore waters by reductive dissolution, and Pb and Zn were dissolved in high amounts at the surface by oxidation of sulfides. Although amorphous Fe oxide-rich layers were formed at the surface of both paddy soils, the release of Pb and Zn were controlled at the surface by these layers only under slightly alkaline conditions at Siheung. Lead and Zn were associated with the reducible and carbonate fractions at the surface paddy soil of Siheung from the sequential extraction on core samples collected during the flooded period. In the acidic conditions at Deokeum, Pb and Zn were continuously released until the late stage of flooding. A great increase in the exchangeable fraction of metals was observed after the soils had drained. The bioavailability of metals for rice crops would be high under acidic conditions at Deokeum, despite the lower levels of heavy metal contamination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-42
Number of pages20
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the BK 21 Environmental Geology Research Group, Yonsei University, sponsored by the Ministry of Education of Korea. The Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (R01-2000-000-00057-0) also supported funding for the research.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution


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